OS migration - moving from Win10 to OSX


I’ve been running with Drobo 5D for a few years on Win7 (recently upgraded to Win10). I finally decided to go all Mac, and would like to migrate the Drobo to HFS+. A few questions to the knowledgable:

  1. Is it possible to simply disconnect the USB3 from the PC and reconnect the Thunderbolt2 to the Mac (iMac 27" running El Capitan? That would be too easy I assume, but I figured I’d ask…
  2. If #1 is not possible, would connecting the Drobo as detailed above give me read-only access to the Drobo from the Mac, or would the Drobo require initialization to be recognized by the Mac?
  3. Providing format conversion is required, would the best way be backing up the Drobo on external HDD’s, connecting it to the Mac, initializing the volume, connecting the external drives and copying everything over?
  4. Are there any known issues running the 5D on OSX El Capitan via Thunderbolt (e.g. stability, capacity limits etc)?
  5. If I want to daisychain the 5D to other Thunderbolt devices on the Mac, is there any best practice related to the order (e.g. 5D first/last in the chain)?

I appreciate any assistance,




  • You’ll need to migrate the data off the Drobo, reformat to HFS+ and then migrate back. The Mac can’t mount a Windows NTFS volume.
  • The only way to access the data from the Mac would be to run Windows in a VM (using Fusion or Parallels) and assign the USB connection to the Windows VM. The drive could then be exported to the Mac host from within side the VM
  • I’d recommend having the Drobo at the start of a Thunderbolt chain - there are considerably latencies moving data over Thunderbolt which compound down the Thunderbolt chain.
  • Depending on how much data you have, some options include buying another Drobo (such as a Gen3) to act as a backup device (its highly recommended to have another physical copy of your data somewhere offsite), or perhaps doing a cloud/remote based backup such as BTSync, Crashplan, Amazon S3 etc.)



By default, OSX 10 only support READ-ONLY NTFS.

  • With your existing Drobo 5D formatted as NTFS, OSX 10 will mount the Volume BUT in READ-ONLY mode.

If you install 3rd party NTFS driver for Mac, such as Paragon NTFS for Mac or Tuxera NTFS for Mac. In this way, Mac will then be able to READ/WRITE NTFS volume in OSX WITHOUT booting into a Windows VM or BootCamp.

The above means that installing the 3rd party NTFS driver will enable MAC OSX to read/write NTFS volume natively. Many Mac User has been using this method for many years.

  • So in this case, simply plug in the Drobo 5D using wither Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 to a Mac (with Paragon-NTFS or Tuxera-NTFS installed)… you can read/write the 5D volume in Mac OSX without issue.